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College students teach English, share gospel in Cambodia

A team of people from Oklahoma Baptist University recently visited Cambodia to learn about the country's culture and to teach English to university students.
BY JULIE MCGOWAN Published: September 7, 2013
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“They went from shy and unsure to confident and excited,” Kraft said. “They grew in confidence as they taught English, they grew in confidence as they worked to build relationships, and each success built on that confidence and increased their excitement.”

Cross-cultural connections

A major goal of the trip, Kraft said, was to help generate connections between full-time cross-cultural workers who live in the country and the Cambodian university students. In Cambodia, 95 percent of the population is Buddhist. As the OBU students taught English-language courses, they involved the cross-cultural workers in their lessons, which directly encouraged Cambodian university students to engage and build relationships with the workers. Kraft said the OBU students aided in telling “the Greatest Story Ever” — the story of Jesus — while identifying Cambodian students who were interested in learning more about the Gospel message.

“We were blessed with the opportunity to share the Gospel,” Gilbert said. “Though we are free to share the Gospel in Cambodia, many of the schools will not allow groups like ours to come onto their campus and share. Thankfully, we were able to intertwine the Gospel in the lessons we taught.

“The most rewarding part was being able to experience the culture and create relationships with the students,” Gilbert said. “We were able to learn a lot about Cambodia and where these people have been. This gave me the knowledge on how to pray for this country and the people.

“I think it's extremely important for OBU students to participate in (Global Outreach) trips,” Gilbert said. “God changes you in more ways than you could ever anticipate. Sharing the Gospel with those who really don't know is life-changing, but for me the biggest part was experiencing the culture. It gave me a more passionate desire to share with these students.”